22 July 2014 – Despite misgivings by environmental protesters in Australia, the benefits of shale gas and coalbed methane have been highlighted in a report by the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The report outlines the benefits of electricity generation from shale and CBM, which produces about half of the carbon emissions as coal-fired electricity.
It says on a per-unit basis shale and CBM are on par with other natural gas, lower than any potential greenhouse gas emission from coal.
The US Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory used harmonised estimates from existing research to quantify emissions.
The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said the report’s findings should be a significant blow to anti-gas activities who serve to stymie Australian gas projects.
Australian activists have put a choke on a number of Australian projects, in particular coalbed methane production in Victoria and New South Wales.
On Monday, The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham said the CBM industry was to blame for up to A$21 billion (US$19 billion) in losses in the economy due to a “massive gas price hike”.
“The pursuit of coal seam gas for export is now being felt by our vital manufacturing industry and agriculture as it sends the price of gas skyrocketing,” he said.
“Coal seam gas will be a major drag on the Australian economy.”
According to Buckingham’s interpretation of a Deloitte Access Economics report said the industry caused a A$32 billion loss in other industries, about 12,000 to 14,000 job losses in manufacturing and the overall A$21 billion hit.
“It is unfair that businesses and workers in the manufacturing industry and agriculture should have to suffer so companies such as PetroChina, Petronas, Kogas, British Gas, Shell, Total, ConocoPhillips, Sinopec, Santos, and Origin can make large profits through their export LNG consortiums,” he said.